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Past event

Youth work, informal learning and the arts: exploring the research and practice agenda

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Organised by the BERA Special Interest Group: Youth studies and informal education, in association with The Centre for Research in Arts, Creativity and Literacies, The University of Nottingham and Tate Research Centre: Learning

Youth programmes are a core part of the learning offer at most publicly funded cultural organisations, and examples of collaboration between arts institutions and youth or community organisations are numerous. National initiatives are also designed to encourage arts activity within informal learning settings. However examinations of the challenges and politics behind these programmes, and the implications for young people and practitioners are relatively few, in comparison to studies around formal education and the arts.

This seminar offers a platform for early career and established researchers and practitioners to critically discuss encounters between youth work and the arts. The event features a panel debate on key issues and priorities driving the discourse in this area of work, alongside contributions invited through an open call. This event seeks to generate conversation between researchers and practitioners working across the arts and youth sectors, to identify shared concerns and to present innovative practice.


10.30-11.00 Registration
11.00-12.50 Introduction and opening provocations; Janet Batsleer, Manchester Metropolitan University; Nicola Sim, Tate/The University of Nottingham
The fight for identity: arts and youth work in collaboration; Steph Brocken, University of Chester
The impact of art analysis and interpretation on the role and practice of youth work; Brian Belton, YMCA George Williams College
THE UNTITLED: The difference between young people and contemporary art; Robin Baillie and Richie Cumming, National Galleries of Scotland
12.50-13.20 Lunch
13.20-14.40 Parallel sessions
The young people’s Arts Award as youth work: creativity as a tool for engagement; Frances Howard, The University of Nottingham
Conversation and Community – a Pedagogy of Creativity; Nigel Roberts, Midlands Institute for Children, Youth and Mission
Exchanging Notes: the intersection between formal and non-formal participatory arts practice; Carol Reid and Nick Wildson, Youth Music
The trouble with youth voice; Steven Hyland, Tate Liverpool
Song writing and youth work: writing songs with young people; Richard Masters, Rotherham Integrated Youth Support Services
Visible You: Investigating social isolation amongst young people using creative digital methods; Knowle West Media Centre’s Junior Digital Producers
Performing political expression: finding voice as affect and its political efficacy with young people; Sarah Weston, University of Leeds
14.40-14.50 Break
14.50-16.10 Parallel sessions
The magic of the mic: demonstrating value in community programmes whist making sense of the anecdote; Dr Sireita Lawrence-Mullings and Dr Kalbir Shukra, Goldsmiths, University of London
Design + Make: Creative Collaborations: London College of Fashion collaborates with ART AGAINST KNIVES; Claire Swift, London College of Fashion
“It makes me feel alive”: The socio-motivational impact of involvement in the creative arts on vulnerable young people; Dr Fidelma Hanrahan, University of Sussex
Song-writing, youth work or research? Ester McGeeney, Rachel Thomson and Lucy Robinson, Brighton hub: Sexology and Songwriting/University of Sussex
Shaping global conversations through Creative partnerships; Yasmin Sidhwa, Pegasus Youth Theatre
The Perspectives Project: A toolkit for working with hard to reach young people in cultural settings; Ruth Currie, Towner Gallery
16.10-16.20 Break
16.20-17.00 Panel discussion: Mapping the agenda; Janet Batsleer, Manchester Metropolitan University; Dr Helen Manchester, University of Bristol; Professor Pat Thomson, The University of Nottingham
17.00 Close of meeting